5YPs successes


Between the years 1928 to 1941, Stalin introduced three Five-Year Plans in the hope that they would rapidly industrialise Russia so that it would no longer be behind the rest of Europe. The first Five-Year Plan lasted between the years 1928 – 1932, with the main purpose to focus on heavy industry; the following Five-Year Plan was from 1933 to 1937, and though it still favoured heavy industry it also focused on improving the living conditions of the citizens of Russia and also industry as a whole. A focus on heavy industry was one of the aims of the third Five-Year Plan, 1938-1941, but its main purpose was to ensure that Russia was ready for its likely involvement in the Second World War. Although not one of the Five-Year Plans lasted the full term, they did reach Stalin’s main aim in rapidly industrialising Russia.

Irrespective of the above, the Plans can still be considered to be of varying success as they managed to improve heavy industry radically. Russia had been backward and behind the rest of Europe for years, hence Stalin felt the need for his Five-Year Plan and for each one to be focused largely around heavy industry.  Between the years 1928 to 1937 Russia’s coal, iron and oil production increased dramatically, with coal rising from 36 million tonnes to over 130 million tonnes. To support the increased production rates, new factories were built all over Russia, such as Magnitogorsk. With industry booming, iron production rose from 3 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes. The production of various goods continued to increase, with oil alone rising from 11 million tonnes in 1928 to 21 million tonnes in 1932, conveying how the Russian economy was improved. It can therefore be said that the Five-Year Plans were a success in transforming Russian industry in the years up to 1941 as they rapidly industrialise Russia thus making it a more modern country.

The Five-Year Plans also led to the much needed improvements to the Russian transportation system. Examples of this are the construction of the Moscow Metro lines in 1935 and the Moscow-Volga Canal, 1932-1937, allowing for transportation of


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